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Film Review: ‘Rogers Park’

Film Review: ‘Rogers Park’
Over the course of a single year in Chicago, two middle-aged couples have their fragile relationships tested in “Rogers Park,” a micro-indie that works through a tempest of grief, betrayal, financial problems, career impasses, sexual dysfunction, and family matters. Deploying an improvisational technique that recalls Mike Leigh (in addition to Carlos Treviño’s script, the credits include “additional character research” by six actors), director Kyle Henry takes a realistic set of domestic crises and turns up the gas, nearly to where creating drama seems more important than what that drama might yield. Yet the film focuses insightfully on a common inflection point in people’s lives, when they have to decide whether to settle into their complex partnerships or find another road to happiness. Though it may not travel far out of its North Side neighborhood, it’s an ideal showcase for the four leads, who are given the latitude to create fully human characters.

Originally called
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Movie Review – Rogers Park (2018)

Rogers Park, 2018.

Directed by Kyle Henry.

Starring Sara Sevigny, Antoine McKay, Jonny Mars, Christine Horn, and Carlos Trevino.

Synopsis:

Two Chicago couples struggle to keep their love alive when secrets and long-simmering resentments rise to the surface.

Setting the stage for what’s to come, in an elementary school classroom a young boy and a girl began fighting over a stuffed toy. It’s not the boy’s turn to have his share of fun with it yet but that doesn’t stop him from forcibly wrestling it away from the poor girl, subsequently bringing her to audible tears. Noticing the escalating situation, the teacher Grace (Sara Sevigny) calmly puts an end to the little scuffle while forcing the boy to apologize and the kids to make peace with one another. More importantly, the scene is a perfectly realized allegory for the family and relationship drama to come; it’s
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Flashback: 2nd Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival: Award Winners + Full Lineup

The second annual Chicago Underground Film Festival was held in 1995, at multiple locations in the city, from Thursday, July 20 to Sunday, July 23.

The festival opened on July 20th at the International Cinema Museum with the film What About Me?, directed by Rachel Amodeo. Other highlights included a retrospective of the work of Kenneth Anger, who attended the fest and screened Fireworks (1947), Scorpio Rising (1963) and Kkk (Kustom Kar Kommandos) (1965) at the Congress Hotel, 520 S. Michigan, on Friday, July 21. Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin also attended and screened films on July 23; while the Reverend Ivan Stang of the Church of Subgenius screened films on July 22.

Also, Charles Pinion screened the world premiere of his feature film Red Spirit Lake, which was preceded by the short film The Operation, directed by Jacob Pander and Marne Lucas. Other short films that screened were Desktop and a preview of Monday 9:02 am, both directed by Tyler Hubby.
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

“It’s Black or White to Me, a Frame that I Like or Don’t Like”: Drew Xanthopoulos on Lensing Discreet

With three new films on the horizon, I sat down with cinematographer Drew Xanthopoulos in the week leading up to the Berlinale World Premiere of Discreet. As part of the producing team of Discreet, I know the film intimately, and knowing also that Xanthopoulos had lensed three wildly different, challenging films in the last year alone, I wanted to learn more about how he creatively approaches his craft and new projects. (In addition to Discreet, Travis Matthews’s stark, carefully composed and mysterious thriller, he has shot Kyle Henry’s upcoming drama Rogers Park, about couples struggling to keep their love alive. […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Variety’s Mentor of the Year: Paul Stekler Champions Cinematic Risk-Taking

Variety’s Mentor of the Year: Paul Stekler Champions Cinematic Risk-Taking
Forget “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” Paul Stekler, Variety’s 2014 Mentor of the Year, can, does and teaches. While chairing University of Texas at Austin’s Rtf (radio-television-film) department, the Emmy and Peabody winner continues to expand his own politically oriented nonfiction oeuvre and serve as a guiding light to Austin at large.

Local mainstay Richard Linklater says, “Paul’s standing in the documentary community brought up everybody’s game, in and around Ut.”

While the chairman’s rep attracts aspiring documentarians, Ut caters to narrative enthusiasms of all types.

“Students don’t make cookie-cutter work, but develop their own unique voice as filmmakers,” says graduate Kyle Henry.

“It’s all about what do you want to do?,” Stekler says. “We set out to have really excellent teachers, expand our offerings in editing and screenwriting, and now animation and f/x and a new videogame program that’s starting up.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Outfest 2013: Before You Know It Is A Deliberate And Rewarding Exploration Of Age

"Before You Know It... you're old." Don't worry. I'm not giving too much away. The line is spoken in the title sequence of Pj Raval's new portrait of gay men in their 70's, and it turns out to be a better synopsis than you'd think. This is not a documentary about sexuality, the history of gay struggle or any type of elderly subculture. It's a humanistic study of three very different men as they slowly approach death. And I do mean slowly. Ty, Robert 'the Mouth,' and Dennis are all intelligent men who have learned to pace themselves in their old age. Kyle Henry's editing mimics the careful, deliberate pace of the seniors' lives. While this can occasionally be tedious (there are several thrift...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Getting Acquainted With the 'Fourplay' Crew

By Jessica Pugh

Because Fourplay is such a unique film and could potentially appeal to only a select audience, I wasn't sure if there would be a full house at the Alamo Village the night I planned to see it. I could not have been more wrong. We were at full capacity, and there was excitement in the air to see what former Austinite Kyle Henry's movie would present.

After talking to producer Jason Wehling before the Fourplay screening, I asked him what someone should expect from Fourplay. He casually stated, "You might be offended, you definitely will be challenged." The audience didn't seem to be as anxious about the film as I was. Several people ordered a few drinks, and were casually chatting.

When the film ended, cast and crew gathered at the front of the theater for a Q&A and discussion about the film. The movie
See full article at Slackerwood »

In The Mood For Kyle Henry's 'Fourplay'

Set in four American cities, director and Ut alum Kyle Henry's anthology film Fourplay shows that love, fear and desire are universal emotions that drive our decisions, like participating in a public restroom orgy or hiring a prostitute for your quadriplegic husband. Austin Film Society is screening the movie tonight as a fundraiser for the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund, and on Friday it starts a week-long run at Alamo Drafthouse Village.

"Sex is often portrayed in film as heterosexual and monogamous," says Henry, a former Austinite who's now an assistant professor at Northwestern University. "The writers and I saw a need to make a movie that reflected the lives of the people we know."

Cuddling, touching, kissing ... The sexually-explicit anthology turns the definition of foreplay on its head, and back and side. Fourplay runs the gamut from tales of sexual intimacy that are romantic to sorrowful, comedic to raunchy,
See full article at Slackerwood »

Austin at SXSW 2013: All the Features (Part Two)

 

Continued from earlier today, here are the rest of the SXSW 2013 films with Austin or Texas ties: documentaries and films that have already been hits at other festivals.

Documentary Spotlight:

An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story -- If you watch the local news, you are likely quite familiar with the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton in Williamson County. This documentary looks further into his story and the years of work by his attorneys to get him released.

Jette butts in: Filmmaker Al Reinert (screenwriter for For All Mankind, Apollo 13) lives in Houston. The film is produced by local filmmakers Clark and Jesse Lyda (who also own Monument Cafe) and Marcy Garriott -- all three worked previously on The Least of These (SXSW 2009). Jason Wehling (The Retrieval) is credited as a consulting producer. One of the composers is Chuck Pinnell, brother of the late Texas filmmaker Eagle Pennell. (screening
See full article at Slackerwood »

Fourplay | Review - Polari (aGLIFF) 2012

An anthology of four short films by Kyle Henry, Fourplay serves as a provocative thesis on human sexuality and intimacy. Set in four seemingly random cities -- Skokie, Austin, Tampa, and San Francisco -- Fourplay alternates between the comically absurd and brutally dramatic. There is nothing simple or easy about Fourplay; it is purposefully shocking at times, though the film always maintains a kind and empathetic core. First and foremost, however, Henry always allows his lead characters to reach their climax, each during very unique situations. It takes different strokes to move the world and Fourplay is all about the diversity of orgasms.
See full article at SmellsLikeScreenSpirit »

aGLIFF Polari Review: Fourplay

Kyle Henry's movie Fourplay was among the most anticipated films of aGLIFF Polari, and with good reason: It promised to be the sort of sex comedy that aGLIFF Polari audiences have adored in years past, and has strong hometown connections. One segment of the movie, Fourplay: San Francisco, screened at aGLIFF in 2010 as a short film.

Does Fourplay deliver on its promises? It played to a large and often wildly enthusiastic audience at the Paramount on Friday night; based on the audience's reaction, I'd say Fourplay does deliver, although I wasn't quite as impressed as many in the crowd were.

A compilation of four sexually oriented shorts set in four cities (Skokie, Austin, Tampa and San Francisco), Fourplay plays sexual intimacy mostly for laughs, although the movie does have some darker moments. The sexual encounters are as varied as the cities where they occur, from a woman's dogsitting adventure
See full article at Slackerwood »

aGLIFF Polari 2012 Dispatch: Bring on the Swedish Lesbians!

aGLIFF may have rebranded itself "Polari" and changed venues this year, but the vibe remains the same: enthusiastic crowds, interesting films and some familiar indie film celebrity faces wandering around the Alamo Drafthouse. (Look -- there's Pj Raval! Look -- there he is again!)

My festival adventure began Friday night at the much-anticipated headliner screening of Kyle Henry's Fourplay at the Paramount. The hilariously raunchy compilation of four sexually oriented shorts set in four cities (Skokie, Austin, Tampa and San Francisco) was a hit, as expected. The crowd wildly cheered Henry's film and asked lots of great questions at the post-screening Q&A with Henry, co-writer Carlos Trevino, cinematographer Pj Raval (who seemed to be everywhere at aGLIFF Polari) and a host of cast and crew members. The Q&A included some unexpected revelations; I was surprised to learn that my favorite of the four shorts, the one set in San Francisco,
See full article at Slackerwood »

Movies This Week: October 5-11, 2012

Decisions, decisions this week -- attend the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival (rebranded "Polari" this year), or see Tim Burton's outstanding new animated film, Frankenweenie? Watch a comedy about butter sculpting -- there's much more to the movie than you'd think -- or check out the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival? See what you will; you'll find me at aGLIFF Polari, where I'm looking forward to former Austinite Kyle Henry's new film, Fourplay (pictured above), on Friday night.

Now in its ninth season, the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival is recognized as the top film celebration of disability in the arts in Texas, and presents animated, international and documentary short films. The festival -- at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar on Friday and Saturday nights -- also features interviews with the filmmakers, actors and writers who create the films.

If you haven't seen David and Nathan Zellner's latest feature,
See full article at Slackerwood »

2012 Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund Recipients Announced

Emerging filmmakers got a kick-start today courtesy of the Austin Film Society’s 2012 Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund (Tfpf). The Afs backed 16 narrative and documentary (short and feature length) projects with over $89,500 in cash grants in addition to $6,000 of Kodak film stock and $15,000 in productions services. Since its inception in 1996, the Afs has granted $1.3 million to 344 projects. Past winners include Heather Courtney for her award-winning Where Soldiers Come From and Kyle Henry for his Cannes entry Fourplay: Tampa.

Here’s a list of this year’s recipients:

A Force In Nature Hayden Yates A biopic of an 89 year-old Icelandic artist living in Texas.

Documentary Feature

$6,500 for production

Above All Else John Fiege The story of the Keystone Xl pipeline project and of the landowners and activists who set out to stop it.

Documentary Feature

$7,000 in Mps Camera Austin services for production/post-production

Arvind Evan Roberts A hybrid doc/narrative collaboration with
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

'Fourplay' Among aGLIFF 2012 Headliners

On Wednesday, the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF) announced four films that will headline the October fest, now in its 25th year. The "centerpiece" will be former Austinite Kyle Henry's Fourplay, filmed with many local cast and crew members. Henry's work is a compilation of shorts, each a tale of sexual intimacy set in one of four cities (San Francisco, Tampa, Austin and Skokie, according to the film's official site). The San Francisco short screened at aGLIFF 2010; the Tampa short premiered at Cannes 2011 and later screened at Sundance (Debbie's post, Don's review).

The opening-night film will be Cloudburst, a drama about a lesbian couple (Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker) who escape their nursing home in the States in hopes of getting hitched in Canada. The fest will close with My Brother the Devil (pictured above). Sally El Hosaini's full-length debut depicts two brothers dealing with issues of identity,
See full article at Slackerwood »

The Latest Austin Movie Success Stories: ‘Where Soldiers Come From,’ ‘Fourplay,’ ‘Pit Stop,’ ‘Black Metal’ and More…

Austin will be representin’ at the Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. As if winning the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards weren’t enough, Austin filmmaker Heather Courtney’s Where Soldiers Come From (which was broadcast on PBS’s Pov series) just received an Emmy nomination in the “Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story – Long Form” category. The awards ceremony will take place Monday, October 1 at the Lincoln Center in New York City. If you have not seen Where Soldiers Come From, it will be rebroadcast in September. And, don’t worry, I will remind you again. Former Austinite Kyle Henry‘s Fourplay (which boasts an Austin-centric cast and crew including producer Jason Wehling, cinematographer Pj Raval and actor Paul Soileau) premiered at San Franciso’s Frameline36 in June and it just screened last night in Los Angeles at Outfest 2012. I can only assume that Fourplay will be screening at many more
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Pj Raval’S Extended Community

Filmmaker Pj Raval has been involved with a number of Film Independent programs, from participating in our Documentary Filmmaker Lab to serving as a juror for the Spirit Awards and screening his work at the Los Angeles Film Festival. His constant stream of work has not gone unnoticed (his projects have screened at Sundance, SXSW, and on Showtime), which is especially rewarding as he regularly works to feature communities not receiving the notice they may deserve and need.

Raval is currently in production on a feature documentary about Lgbtq senior and retiree communities and has less than one week to raise the funds needed to complete his film via USA Projects, a United States Artists program used to fundraise online. Read on to learn more about Raval’s trajectory through the world of independent filmmaking and what he hopes to achieve with his latest endeavor:

Tell us how you got your start in film.
See full article at Film Independent »

Congrats to 'Fourplay,' Indiewire's Project of the Week!

Congrats to 'Fourplay,' Indiewire's Project of the Week!
Thanks to your votes, the sex anthology "Fourplay" won this weekend’s Project of the Week contest! Congratulations to “Fourplay" director Kyle Henry. The filmmaker will receive a digital distribution consultation from SnagFilms and is now officially a candidate for Project of the Month. That winner will be awarded with a consultation from the Sundance Institute. Here's what the project's about: Fourplay is a feature quartet of stories in which characters’ lives are changed by unusual sexual encounters. In Skokie, a woman with a crush on her minister's wife has an intense weekend with their dog. In Austin, a couple debates baby-making and comes to an unusual compromise. In Tampa, a man plagued with self-doubt looks for satisfaction in a public mall bathroom and unexpectedly finds his sexual savior. And in San Francisco, a cross-dressing sex-worker faces a challenging assignment with a quadriplegic man. The standalone...
See full article at Indiewire »

Four Texas Shorts Invade Sundance and Slamdance 2012

I recently had the chance to see four Texas short films headed for Sundance and Slamdance 2011 this month. If these shorts are any indication, audiences at the Park City festivals will see a very eclectic mix of moviemaking from Austin and Houston.

Fourplay: Tampa (Sundance)

Former Austinite Kyle Henry's Fourplay: Tampa is a surprisingly explicit romp about gay men hooking up in a Florida mall restroom. The story centers on Louis (Jose Villarreal), who enters the restroom looking for, well, satisfaction. As Slackerwood is a mostly family-friendly film site, I won't describe what happens next in prurient detail; I'll just say it involves lots of libidinous men in silly costumes (among them a cowboy, Marie Antoinette and the Marx Brothers) and some very amusing sacrilegious naughtiness. Bear in mind the subject matter in the following trailer.

read more
See full article at Slackerwood »

Filmmaker Launches Curated Kickstarter Page

With thanks to the good folks at Kickstarter, today we debut our curated page on the crowdfunding platform. At Filmmaker Magazine on Kickstarter you’ll always find a half dozen or so projects that we believe deserve your support. These will be projects by filmmakers we support through the magazine or site (like, for example, those from our annual “25 New Faces” list), those whose work has impressed us in the past, or perhaps just those whose project descriptions are particularly compelling. And while film and video projects will, naturally, comprise the bulk of our recommendations, I hope to sprinkle in projects in other areas like technology, music and publishing. There will always be a short blurb explaining why we’ve made the pick.

We’ve launched the page with the following projects:

* Fourplay. Kyle Henry made our 25 New Faces list following his eerie, assured independent feature, Room. For the last
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »
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